2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 4
- 4 min read

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 4

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 4 by Nicole Haase

Germany 4, Japan 1

The final score of this one does not relay how close and well-matched these two teams seemed, particularly through the first two periods. The first period was scoreless and started a little slowly as the teams felt each other out. Germany had a great chance from Lilli Welcke on a breakaway, but Riko Kawaguchi, making her first start of the tournament, made the save.

Japan had their two best chances of the game early in the second, but a 3-on-1 failed to materialize into much and Sandra Abstreiter made a point blank save on PWHL Ottawa teammate Akane Shiga. The two plays felt emblematic of the tournament for the Japanese, as they've felt like they are on the precipice, but can't quite put it all together. Some missed passes, fumbled pucks and that big miss on the 3-on-1 really stood out. They're putting together pretty plays, but not getting a shot off. The makings of a very good team are there, but the details aren't yet dialed in.

Germany took a little time to settle in again, broke the game open later in the second as Jule Schiefer scored five-hole with a backhander. Less than three minutes later, Bernadette Karpf tipped in a point shot from Carina Strobel on the power play to make it 2-0. Remarkably, that was Karpf’s first ever goal at the Women’s Worlds – she is currently playing in this her seventh tournament. She's been scoreless in her previous 34 Women's Worlds games!

Japan regrouped for the third and put the pressure on Germany, outshooting them 17-12 and holding the puck for much of the frame, but they could not break through, even with three power plays.

Luisa Welcke joined her twin on the scoresheet, scoring empty netter pretty much as soon as Japan pulled Kawaguchi. The coaches called her to the bench before Japan had possession and it bit them immediately.

But that was just the beginning of an eventful final two minutes. Shiga scored with just under 90 seconds left to make it 3-1. Japan went with an empty net again, but Germany won the faceoff and Nicola Eisenschmid took advantage to make it 4-1.

The three goals in 52 seconds set a Women's Worlds record for fastest three goals with both teams scoring.

It was a devastating loss for Japan, who sit in fourth place in the Group B standings with one point and are in danger of relegation.

United States 5, Finland 3

The Finns gave the Americans a tough test on Saturday night and game turned into something of a snipe show as both teams showed off their skills. The shots on goal heavily favored the US throughout the game and finished 45-12, but Finland made their shots count.

The first period of this game featured nine penalties – five for Finland and four for the US. Finland took advantage of the player advantage first as Elisa Holopainen ripped a shot over Aerin Frankel's shoulder seven minutes into the game. But USA responded immediately as Hannah Bilka drove the net. Anni Keisala made the initial stop on her, but Abbey Murphy picked up the loose puck and tied the game 1-1.

It looked like the Americans would take a 2-1 lead into the locker room after Hilary Knight's shot from distance seemed to deflect through traffic and into the net with under two minutes to play. But Finland responded with a late goal on the player advantage. It was Holopainen again to make it 2-2.

In the second, Taylor Heise was whistled for a hooking penalty that had her shaking her head and she apparently spent the two minutes in the box plotting, as she scored eight seconds after her penalty expired. She got the puck as soon as she exited the box, showed some patience in picking her opportunity and beat Keisala to make it 3-2.

Kendall Coyne Schofield made Finland pay for a turnover in the neutral zone to extend the US lead to 4-2, but the Finns would not go quietly. In the final minute of the period, Susanna Tapani turned a rebound in the defensive end to an offensive chance as she hit Sofianna Sundelin with a gorgeous pass in stride. Sundelin had defenders on her heels, but used a backhand to beat a sprawling Frankel, who missed a pokecheck. USA took a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.

After stewing on that goal, the Americans hit the ice in third flying. Knight's shot was stopped, but Coyne Schofield was there to clean up the rebound and the two-goal US lead was restored just 15 seconds into the third.

USA withstood a push from Finland and kept them off the board in the final frame. Coyne Schofield just missed an empty-net opportunity that would have given her a hat trick, but her two goals led the team to a 5-3 win.

Coming up on Sunday, April 7

  • 11:00 AM Eastern – Sweden vs. Japan (Group B) (NHL Network, TSN3/4) (in progress, 3-2 Sweden in the second intermission)
  • 3:00 PM Eastern – Canada vs. Czechia (Group A) (NHL Network, TSN3/4)
  • 7:00 PM Eastern – China vs. Denmark (Group B) (ESPN+, TSN3)

(Photo: IIHF)